Sending Office: Honorable Eric Swalwell
Help Secure Our Supply of Energy Critical Elements!
Cosponsor the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act
I am writing to urge you to cosponsor H.R. 4481, the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act, to help America close the gap in technical expertise and ensure a reliable supply of energy critical elements (ECEs).
ECEs are crucial components of a broad range of advanced technologies, including cell phones, laptops, jet engines, gas and wind turbines, petroleum refining catalysts, nuclear reactors, solar panels, and state-of-the-art batteries for hybrid vehicles and
other applications. A shortage of these elements could significantly impede the application of these technologies on a large-scale. It is thus clear that America’s global competitiveness and national, energy and economic security require a domestic supply
of ECEs. Yet, the United States relies on imports for at least 80 percent of its domestic need for 21 of 35 of these critical minerals.
It is also important to note that some ECEs are substances for which economically viable extraction is difficult; these are called rare earth elements (REEs). China generates 80 percent of the world’s supply of REEs and 75 percent of permanent magnets containing
them. In 2010, China temporarily cut off REEs to Japan, the European Union, and the United States highlighting the potential consequences to the United States for relying so heavily upon China for their production.
In 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) on its own established a limited-term Critical Materials Institute to help ensure a reliable supply of ECEs, but neither this institute nor an underlying, ongoing, ECE research program have ever been properly authorized. The
Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act, importantly would prevent DOE from discontinuing this work by requiring in permanent law that it be done and improve its current program.
Specifically, the bill would reinvigorate research and development on ECEs in order to use these elements more effectively and seek methods to substitute and recycle critical materials by:
- promoting collaboration and research opportunities in the field of ECEs for researchers and students from DOE laboratories, industry, and institutions of higher education;
- directing the coordination of federal agencies to promote a stable supply of ECEs;
- requiring DOE to develop and update a strategic plan every two years for how it intends to carry out the ECE program established by the bill; and
- creating a Critical Materials Information Center within DOE to serve as a central repository for its ECE efforts.
Ensuring a reliable, responsible and stable supply of ECEs is vital to our national, energy and economic security. If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Adeola Adesina (Adeola.Adesina@mail.house.gov).
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0